An open letter to the youth of the United States

I’m going to be more blunt because I’m angry.

I saw Unfriended today. From a strictly critical standpoint, it was a well-done, fresh take on the mocumentary style. It brought up so many current, heavy issues that I could have discussed on so many levels.

But, instead, I’m writing an open letter to young people in the United States.

No, not the kids who hate bullying.
No, not the kids who are bullied.
No, not the kids who hate rape culture and patriarchy, white supremacy and racism, heterosexism and sexism, and all the other -isms in the US.

No, this is to the kids who were laughing in the theater as grave issues were brought right in front of your fresh, vacant little faces.

Yes, laughing.
No, not a handful of kids–pretty much half the theater.
Laughing as they watched a video of a girl, drunk, and passed out on the ground at a party.
Laughing as they watched a video of that same girl killing herself out of shame.

You have sipped from the drug-laced waters of conformity and mob mentality, and it disgusts me.
You are the problem.
You have been so blinded by the voyeuristic culture that you actually laughed at the events in this movie.

Is this normal for you?
Is it normal for you to see humiliating videos of people and laugh at them?
Is it normal for you to sit behind your godforsaken computer screens and tell someone they should kill themselves?

Oh wait, that’s probably too personal. You might not do that yourself, but watching someone else do that is different. It’s just a movie, right?

No, it’s not just a movie. This happens all the time.

There was recently a video that surfaced–a video which depicted teenage males raping an unconscious girl and laughing about it.

And all anyone could say was that they shouldn’t have posted the video online.

This is so much more than a discussion on how to keep sensitive information private.

This is a discussion on human decency.
This is a discussion on seeing humans as sacred individuals, rather than objectified things whose humiliation, violation, misfortune, and sexuality we are free to consume.

This is a discussion on seeing movies like this and understanding that our culture has just been indicted for producing little narcissists like you–blind to the truth of your actions’ consequences, seeking validation quantifiable in the amount of likes and shares and views and comments you receive.

You are feeding the problem.

Open up your eyes.
You are being trained to salivate at the sound of a Facebook notification.
Your culture is lay
ing a foundation of self-worth made entirely of Twitter retweets.
Your laughter perpetuates the problem.

You are destroying yourself, and everyone with you.


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